The open cycle gas core engine is a nuclear propulsion device. Propulsion is provided by hot hydrogen which is heated directly by thermal radiation from the nuclear fuel. Critical mass is sustained in the uranium plasma in the center. It has typically 30 to 50 kg of fuel. It is a thermal reactor in the sense that fissions are caused by absorption of thermal neutrons. The fast neutrons go out to an external moderator/reflector material and, by collision, slow down to thermal energy levels, and then come back in and cause fission. The hydrogen propellant is stored in a tank. The advantage of the concept is very high specific impulse because you can take the plasma to any temperature desired by increasing the fission level by withdrawing or turning control rods or control drums.